Tuesday, July 5, 2011

best vacation ever

Despite the driving conditions--how do people out east handle those interstate highways? Holy congestion, Batman! And then we couldn't find a place to spend the night after crossing into Pennsylvania. Apparently every room from Ohio to the Atlantic Ocean is booked solid throughout the summer months...a fun fact Trip Advisor failed to mention...

But when we arrived in the Outer Banks, after passing through a shopping district that rivals ours (which is considered top-notch in the Midwest--which just goes to show you how hick we really are), we found the Lillian B, our beach cottage for the week. Nestled between an empty lot and a vacant house, the Lillian B was sweeter than the internet images I'd perused for hours while planning our trip. This house had such charm and simplicity--a claw foot bathtub upstairs, tricked out with a cunning showerhead contraption so I could rinse the sand from my hair. The furniture was darling, each room pleasantly arranged. And then we stepped out to the porch facing the ocean.

People, most folks got jazzed because it had a hot tub. No, what pleased me most was the view! A small stretch of sand and then the magnificent, endless span of Atlantic Ocean. Of course, the porch swing and cozy Adirondack chairs didn't hurt our situation.

Down the steps, past the handy spigot for rinsing sandy feet, straight into the salty brine. Waves--constant rolling, mighty, lulling, rocking, ebbing, flowing waves! Imagine, if you will, 6 days of hot, sunny weather on a very quiet beach (populated by a variety of families, not many of them, mostly companionable, ordinary folk intent on enjoying themselves). The ocean is a temperate 77 degrees, pelicans patrol the sky above and pods of dolphins patrol the perimeter. We felt no temptation to leave our post. Mr. D flopped back into a chair, Team Testosterone somersaulted through the surf, occasionally running up to the beach chairs to deposit a shell into their collection, I read and swam and sat and swam and reflected and built sandcastles with moats to collect the high tide.

Sure, we ventured out to see The Lost Colony and the Wright Brothers Memorial. We got donuts from Duck's and I got to grocery shop at a Harris Teeter. And we took a surfing lesson. But mostly?

We sat and stared and loved the vastness of the ocean and all the sounds, life, smells and tastes. The Outer Banks was exactly the Intro. to the Ocean I wanted for my kids--and it exceeded my expectations, too!

Spill it, reader--have you ever visited the Outer Banks?

23 comments:

  1. I've never visited the Outer Banks. Perhaps this can be a little vacation spot for Den and I this summer.

    I DO live in NH - about 25-35 minutes from the ocean. I know exactly what you mean about the vast expansiveness of the Atlantic. I go to the beach all the time - even in the winter, just to go for a drive. I love the smell of the salt water, and the feel of sand between my toes.

    Glad you had a good time! :)

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  2. I've never been there and actually never heard of it before but it sounds heavenly. Glad you had a great time!

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  3. I don't even know where the Outer Banks are, but I just recently moved from California to a small town in Oklahoma and miss the ocean immensely. Ah well, this place sounds really beautiful and relaxing.
    I just found your blog and you have some great posts.

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  4. No, we haven't, but we are awfully glad you're back. Abby was so excited to see Mr. G last night when he informed us about the fireworks, and she plans on buzzing back soon to visit Jax soon. She's been waiting all week to go!

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  5. I have not but I grew up very close to the sea. I miss the smell.

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  6. I have visited the Outer Banks (we stayed in Ocracoke) but mostly we spend our beach time an hour or so south of the NC border in a little place called Pawley's Island. The view is wonderful in both spots though and I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!

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  7. Love the Outer Banks. It's about 6 hours from us. I ran their marathon about 3 years ago - I was sick and coughing the whole way - got home to find out I had pneumonia. But I still enjoyed running it in spite of that!

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  8. Now you'll just have to visit the Oregon coast. It is truly breathtaking...ly beautiful - while it takes your breath away - literally, it is Alaska's runoff. So, chilly isn't adequate. But, as a kid, I used to swim in that arctic pool.

    When we went in the ocean on the eastside - it was warm - actually enjoyable but I still say "ours" is prettier ;)

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  9. Never been. My brother and I argue tirelessly between Cape and Banks.
    The Banks are over 12 hours away for us but he raves about it.
    How long did it take you?

    (And between you and me, I think the water is nicer in the Banks.)

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  10. I've been on both coasts, and Kim is right about the northwest beaches. They go to the beach to look AT the water and have bonfires, the folks on the East coast go to the beach to get IN the water.
    Any quiet peaceful beach is very worth it, where ever it is

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  11. Greetings everyone from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.Richard from Amish Stories.

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  12. So glad you enjoyed your time down here in NC!!! Right after we moved down to Raleigh from Milwaukee, we went to the Outer Banks for a long weekend and I remember watching the sunset and feeling it was such a postcard moment. Still don't get tired of it, but still nothing beats Lake Superior in the summer or just being able to drive the Milwaukee lake front everyday on my way to or from work. :)

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  13. we honeymooned on the outerbanks -- and i was just in myrtle beach, south carolina for the weekend -- how close to each other we were!!!

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  14. Sounds like a perfect vacation to me. I was recently in Hilton Head, south of the Outer Banks and I too love the sounds and smell of the ocean.

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  15. OMG! i've never done anything like that. i just can't even imagine how a trip like that would be. totally awesome - for sure - but not anything i would have ever thought of. wow!

    sounds like an awesome, amazing time.

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  16. I have never been there, although I live fairly close (about 4 hours away) but absolutely everybody else here goes there and I'd rather not vacation with the other people in my city.

    How funny that shopping at Harris Teeter was exotic for you! Did you like it?

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  17. I loved the Outer Banks and it's on my list of places to go to again. Of all the beaches we've been to I like it best. Of course being kite fliers and being there for a kite festival didn't hurt :)

    Lake Superior has to be my favorite lake!

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  18. Wow. It sounds absolutely perfect. I've never been but maybe I should put it on my to do list.
    So glad you had such an amazing vacation! :)

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  19. I never have, but it has always appealed.

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  20. We trailer-camped in Kitty Hawk when I was small, but we haven't been there in ages. It sounds a lot like the more remote parts of Cape Cod.

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  21. I have NOT been to the Outer Banks but lots of my friends have and raved about it. Sounds amazing. And I'm with you, who cares about the hot tub? I'm all about the VIEW!

    Enjoy!

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  22. I was out there a few years ago with my Mom and brother. We loved it. We didn't spend too much time at the Wright Brother's site because there was a monsoon that day.

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Spill it, reader.